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Akeley votes to advertise for part-time police officer

The Akeley Council, convening a special meeting Tuesday, agreed to advertise for a part-time law enforcement officer through October, the issue to be revisited in September.

Brian Hitchcock had asked the council to consider the measure at last week's meeting, noting the city had budgeted for the position.

Mayor Jennifer Mitchell said the need for law enforcement increases in the summer with additional traffic and children out of school.

"We need to be clear on the council's expectations" regarding the amount of time spent in the office, Troy Hegg said.

"Eric's was 40 hours a week," Denise Rittgers said of former chief Eric Klein.

"My concern is if it's seasonal, who will we get to apply?" Hitchcock questioned.

"The seasonal idea gets you through the busy months," former Nevis police officer Ed Franckowiak told the council. "Twenty hours a week might be overkill." He said the time it takes to complete reports is minimal. "I can bang out a report in 10 or 15 minutes" and be back out on the street.

Former part-time Akeley police officer Dave Grantham reiterated the estimation.

The council agreed to advertise the position at $15 per hour on a 16-hour per week basis. Members approved a provision the officer working up to 31 hours for a single pay period to address any remaining open files.

The council also accepted bids from Beard Excavating for roadwork on Second Street and Hulet Avenue ($17,411) and Crow Wing Lake Drive ($6,314).

The council agreed to use road maintenance, FEMA and administrative citation funds for the projects